By request, here's the recipe for the WWII-era ration cake recipe I used for the s'mores mini-cakes; it's called "wacky cake" and if you google that phrase you'll actually find the recipe all over the place. However, I'm using a version that was reworked slightly by the America's Test Kitchen people for their Cook's Country magazine (which, btw, I love). You can see the usual version here; according to the research in the Cook's Country article, it was first published in 1949 in a collection of reader recipes and was submitted by one Mrs. Donald Adam of Detroit. I think their ingredient changes are worth following:
1 1/2 c unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 c sugar
1/4 c unsweetened cocoa
3/4 t baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 t vanilla
1 T vinegar
5 T vegetable oil
1 c cold water
the directions in all recipes are almost all exactly the same: Preheat oven to 350° F; sift dry ingredients into an 8x8 baking pan (I actually dump them all in and whisk together); make one large hole and two small in the mixture, pouring the oil into the large hole and the vanilla and vinegar into the small ones -- then, pour the water over the whole thing, mix quickly until moistened (do not beat) and pop into the oven for 30 minutes. I have never frosted this cake, just eaten it straight or sprinkled powdered sugar on before serving. ALSO: don't try this the first time if company's coming! My first one was a disaster (I was nervous about overmixing and there were huge streaks of flour through it!) and while hopefully yours won't be, it is slightly weird so play it safe! Some recipes say to mix in a bowl and then pour into a pan, but according to Cook's Country you risk having it not rise as well.
This cake is seriously quick and easy, cheap, vegan and really good if you like chocolate cake!
WHOAH! STOP THE PRESSES! Astute reader Melanie caught a typo in the recipe (I sent her a scan of the original), which I've just fixed. The amounts on the vanilla and vinegar were switched -- oops!! What you see now is correct. Sorry!